Welcome back to the second installment of the sweet northern Virginia wedding day of Sally and Brendan! The couple exchanged very personal (and cheeky!) ceremony vows in The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, where they also celebrated their garden-chic wedding reception. In case you missed their wedding ceremony, be sure to check out every detail here. For their wedding reception, “elegant simplicity” was the goal as the couple wanted the surroundings of the botanical garden setting to stand out. And that they did!  What stood out the most was all of the amazing personalized wedding details the couple included into their wedding reception. Sally and Brendan met online and even infused exchanges from their early e-mail courting into decor around the space. Their mutual love of music also became an underlying theme of the wedding day, even renaming table numbers after their favorite concerts! This party was certainly that, a big party complete with a cheesehead grand entrance and dance-off during the night! What a fun way to let loose and celebrate! There’s nothing more amazing that a wedding where you can feel the personalities of the couple coming through in every photo, just like these. A special thanks to photographer, Hannah Colclazier Hudson, for sharing Sally and Brendan’s beautiful Washington DC area wedding reception with us!

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From the bride: Our two main wedding priorities were to make the wedding as personal and unique as we could, and for the music to keep everyone on the dance floor all night! Because of that, one of our biggest splurges was the dance floor itself. We upgraded to a bigger size and changed its color to white to go with our theme and make sure everyone dancing would stand out in photos. It’s funny, because food was the least of our concerns (Who really remembers or cares about wedding food!?), but it turned out that that Great Blue Heron did an incredible job and our guests couldn’t stop raving! That turned out to be an unexpected treat for everyone! Our DJ was even more fantastic than we had imagined he’d be. At our very first meeting, we told the DJ that our goal was to dance all night until all of our guests were drenched in sweat and exhausted and he certainly delivered. Because my husband and I can sometimes be music snobs, we had an extensive list of must-play songs and he was able to beautifully incorporate all of them with perfect flow, while also adding his unique taste and style. The dance-offs were endless and the sing-a-longs aplenty. It was exactly what we’d hoped for.

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Our first dance was to the song “Man in Me” by Bob Dylan partly because the Big Lebowski is one of Brendan’s favorite movies, plus it’s just a great song. He is originally from Wisconsin, therefore by default, a diehard Packers fan, so I surprised him with a cheesehead groom’s cake from Charm City Cakes!

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My husband and I have spent most of our years together going to concerts and live shows, so that was a sub-theme to our wedding. Our reception tables were named after our favorite shows and my processional song was a secret to Brendan, and I chose it based on our all-time favorite concert (“Everlong Acoustic Version” by the Foo Fighters).

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Brendan and I met on Match.com, so on each guest table we framed funny and sweet snippets from our first few e-mail exchanges!

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Doughnuts as the cake/dessert = SO DELICIOUS!!!!!! (And easy to eat!)

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Advice from the bride for other Washington DC area couples:

My wedding planning advice would be to step back every once in awhile during the big day to take everything in, breathe a couple of deep breaths, and remember the feeling. It’s true that they say the day flies by in an instant, so grab a bridesmaid before the ceremony and designate them to pull you away a couple times to soak up the moments.

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Congratulations to Sally and Brendan!  Thank you for sharing your Virginia atrium wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Photography Hannah Colclazier Hudson
Wedding Planner: The Plannery
Stationery: Minted
Floral Designer: Love Blooms
Hair & Makeup Stylist: Alison Harper & Co.
Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo
Bridal Salon: I Do, I Do
Bridal Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Groom’s Shoes: Perry Ellis
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Ceremony + Reception Music: DJ Rusty B at DJ D-Mac & Associates
Rentals: Capital Party Rentals
Caterer: Great Blue Heron
Linens: Party Rental Ltd.
Cake/Dessert: Astro Doughnuts
Groom’s Cake: Charm City Cakes

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

Photo Credits: Hannah Colclazier Hudson

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